Landord fined £1.4m and has rental property confiscated

An absentee landlord has been stung with a £1.44 million penalty after he continually broke planning rules in a decade-long stand-off with Ealing Council.

Ali Bahbahani has been ordered to pay £1,283,444 for converting a home to create flats, including an extension, in leafy Waldegrave Road, Ealing (pictured), without planning permission – and then not complying with orders to stop using the property and demolish the unauthorised extensions.

The authority secured the confiscation order under the Proceeds of Crime Act after Bahbahani profited illegally from renting the flats.

Over the past 10 years, Ealing Council has issued multiple court applications to have the property restored to its original condition.

The case was heard before a number of courts before finally being concluded at Isleworth Crown Court in January when it was revealed that someone impersonating the landlord had attended the initial hearings. Bahbahani, who lives overseas, failed to appear for his conviction.

Councillor Shital Manro (pictured), cabinet member for good growth and new housing, says it was a flagrant abuse of the planning system. He adds: “You must make sure you have planning permission for major changes of any sort to your property. Failure to do so will result in court action and, as we have seen, can be very costly.”

As part of the confiscation order, the council will be recovering more than £16,000 in unpaid council tax and business rate bills. It is also working with the management receiver to recover all its costs as well as the property’s new owner to finally resolve the illegal building works.

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